I was walking past our living room and was struck by the image of my daughter sitting with her book and the lamp illuminating the room. The way that her hair is pulled back and the dress that she has on give the image a timeless quality to me and I was eager to capture it. I whispered “please don’t move” so I could get my camera. She whispered back “can I turn the page?” (I said yes.)
This was taken several months ago, and I adored it for being a classic image of a little girl reading. Now when I look at it, it is so sentimental. This picture blends old and new for me – my daugher, reading one of my favorite books when I was her age (Heidi), sitting in the room that I read in when I was a little girl. The sofa and photographs are ours, the curtains and lamp my mother left for us, and the china cabinet was from my grandmother’s home. Four generations of women are represented in one image – that was not the intention of the photograph, but it makes it all the more powerful. This is why photographing children and families in their homes is so important to me.
A photograph speaks to you differently as time goes on. An image that might be loved at first for the child’s expression, may be loved down the road for very different reasons. It could be that you notice the baseboards roughed up by your child’s matchbox cars, the pile of favorite board books in the corner, or even the wall color that you couldn’t wait to paint over. Photographs serve as a time capsule – a single moment is captured – but the emotions and memories that it brings can span several generations. I’m thankful for that reminder this morning.